Sounding Circle

Tuesday, March 4, 2003day link 

 Parents Oppose Circumcision4 comments
picture4 Mar 2003 @ 14:07
In line with cultural influences on males. I think this is an important topic. I'm glad this is being talked about. I wonder about the physical and psychological effects of circumscribed mutilation. What effect it had on me as well as with the effect of not being breast fed since it wasn't the trend in the 50's.

Maybe this is why I keep searching for the missing piece. :)

By Adam Liptak
New York Times
January 23, 2003

FARGO, N.D., Jan. 16 < Josiah Flatt, like about 60 percent of other newborn American boys, was circumcised soon after he was born here, in the spring of 1997. Two years later, his parents sued the doctor and the hospital.

They did not contend that the circumcision was botched or deny that Josiah's mother, Anita Flatt, had consented to the procedure in writing. They said,instead, that the doctor had failed to tell them enough about the pain,complications and consequences of circumcision, removing the foreskin of the

The suit will be heard by a jury next month. In declining to dismiss the case here before trial, Judge Cynthia Rothe-Seeger acknowledged that the case was unusual in that nothing "went `wrong' during the procedure." The
main harm Josiah seeks compensation for, Judge Rothe-Seeger noted, is "diminished sexual sensation injury."

The suit is but one effort by a small but energetic group of loosely affiliated advocates and lawyers to use the legal system to combat the practice < most American newborn boys undergo the operation when they are days old < which they liken to genital cutting in girls.

The advocates have been active in state legislatures, too. Ten states no longer allow Medicaid to pay for circumcision.

"They have reached the ears of legislators and insurance companies," Dr.Thomas Wiswell, a professor of pediatrics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a proponent of the procedure, said about the opponents. "They are far more vocal than proponents of circumcision."

J. Steven Svoboda, director of Attorneys for the Rights of the Child, a group devoted to the issue, contends that circumcision is wrong as a matter of law, medicine and philosophy. Children of both sexes, Mr. Svoboda said,
should be entitled to "bodily integrity."

Josiah Flatt's case appears to be the first to go to trial based on the theory that the absence of an exhaustive medical briefing about the risks and benefits of circumcision is tantamount to a lack of informed consent.

Among the possible complications in the operation are excess bleeding,infection and ulceration and occasional permanent damage to the penis.

"This could be a very important test case," said Geoffrey P. Miller, a professor of law at New York University who has written about legal and cultural issues of circumcision.

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 Fairy Tales and a Dose of Reality1 comment
picture4 Mar 2003 @ 13:25
An editorial on fairy tales from today's New York Times...

March 3, 2003

Fairy Tales and a Dose of Reality


Catherine Orenstein is author of ``Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale.''

The most recent crop of reality television shows taps the fantasies we first learned from fairy tales: castles and fortunes, true love and romantic destiny, and above all that most perfect storybook union, the "fairy tale wedding." On the rose-strewn finale of "The Bachelorette," Trista chose the shy fireman Ryan, who promptly got down on one knee and held out a diamond. "I don't think that I could have imagined a better ending to this fairy tale story," she sighed. Meanwhile, on "Joe Millionaire," 20 would-be Cinderellas competed for the hand of a modern-day Prince Charming.

Of course, in addition to pandering to our storybook fantasies, reality television plays to far crasser conceits — lies and manipulation, an ample display of female flesh and a sadistic interest in the rejected suitors' humiliation. Fox's new show "Married by America," which premieres tonight, will take love out of the equation entirely, with viewers picking who gets paired off. In NBC's coming "Race to the Altar," a sort of hybrid of "The Great Race" and "The Bachelor," couples will compete for a fantasy prime-time wedding.

Sounds like fairy tales run amok. In fact, though, this reality comes closer to the true storybook than one might imagine. Those who wish for a real-life fairy tale romance might want to read their fairy tales again. The first published contes de fées, as they were called by the Parisian aristocracy at the end of the 17th century, did indeed revolve around courtship and weddings, but they told of unions that were anything but sweet and loving. Charles Perrault's 1697 collection, "Tales of Times Past with Morals," better known today as the "Mother Goose Tales," featured cruelty, deceit, greed, murder and nasty in-laws.

His pre-Disney Sleeping Beauty is not chastely awakened by a kiss, but rather impregnated by a passing prince and hidden in the woods. Years later the prince's mother tries to eat her. The young bride in Perrault's "Bluebeard" appears to have made a better match by marrying a wealthy widower. Alas, it turns out her groom is a serial killer. One day she discovers the corpses of his former wives hanging in a secret chamber.

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 U.S. Diplomat Resigns1 comment
4 Mar 2003 @ 13:04
U.S. Diplomat Resigns, Protesting 'Our Fervent Pursuit of War'
By Felicity Barringer
New York Times

Thursday 27 February 2003

UNITED NATIONS - A career diplomat who has served in United States embassies from Tel Aviv to Casablanca to Yerevan resigned this week in protest against the country's policies on Iraq.

The diplomat, John Brady Kiesling, the political counselor at the United States Embassy in Athens, said in his resignation letter, "Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson."

Mr. Kiesling, 45, who has been a diplomat for about 20 years, said in a telephone interview tonight that he faxed the letter to Secretary of State Colin L, Powell on Monday after informing Thomas Miller, the ambassador in Athens, of his decision.

He said he had acted alone, but "I've been comforted by the expressions of support I've gotten afterward" from colleagues.

"No one has any illusions that the policy will be changed," he said. "Too much has been invested in the war."

Louis Fintor, a State Department spokesman, said he had no information on Mr. Kiesling's decision and it was department policy not to comment on personnel matters.

In his letter, a copy of which was provided to The New York Times by a friend of Mr. Kiesling's, the diplomat wrote Mr. Powell: "We should ask ourselves why we have failed to persuade more of the world that a war with Iraq is necessary. We have over the past two years done too much to assert to our world partners that narrow and mercenary U.S. interests override the cherished values of our partners."

His letter continued: "Even where our aims were not in question, our consistency is at issue. The model of Afghanistan is little comfort to allies wondering on what basis we plan to rebuild the Middle East, and in whose image and interests."

It is rare but not unheard-of for a diplomat, immersed in the State Department's culture of public support for policy, regardless of private feelings, to resign with this kind of public blast. From 1992 to 1994, five State Department officials quit out of frustration with the Clinton administration's Balkans policy.

Asked if his views were widely shared among his diplomatic colleagues, Mr. Kiesling said: "No one of my colleagues is comfortable with our policy. Everyone is moving ahead with it as good and loyal. The State Department is loaded with people who want to play the team game - we have a very strong premium on loyalty."  More >

 Multiple Choice1 comment
picture4 Mar 2003 @ 09:07

This test consists of one (1) multiple-choice question
(so you better get it right!).

Here's a list of the countries that the U.S. has bombed since
the end of World War II, compiled by historian William Blum:

China 1945-46
Korea 1950-53
China 1950-53
Guatemala 1954
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959-60
Guatemala 1960
Congo 1964
Peru 1965
Laos 1964-73
Vietnam 1961-73
Cambodia 1969-70
Guatemala 1967-69
Grenada 1983
Libya 1986
El Salvador 1980s
Nicaragua 1980s
Panama 1989
Iraq 1991-99
Sudan 1998
Afghanistan 1998
Yugoslavia 1999

In how many of these instances did a democratic government, respectful of human rights, occur as a direct result? Choose one of the following:
(a) 0
(b) zero
(c) none
(d) not a one
(e) a whole number between -1 and +1  More >

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